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Beaglebone black audio drivers (a cry for help)

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Hi All,
This is not an electronics question; it's not really even a microcontroller question, but I thought I'd just offer it up here as I know the people here are a helpful bunch and it's quite likely that someone here has dabbled with the Beaglebone single-board computers.

What I'm trying to do is write a driver to play and record audio via an external DAC/ADC. An audio interface add on board ("cape") has been produced, but it's no longer available and, besides, we'd really like to implement our own special-purpose hardware.
In theory the task is simple. We just need to tell the on-chip audio subsystem to talk in the correct format to our external converters, and it should just work.... I'd say that at least 90% of the work is already done.

However, the harder I look at the problem, the less I know where to begin. Those of you who (like me) have used Linux for some time will be familiar with the quagmire of out-of-date documentation, incomplete FAQs and inaccurate HOWTOs which are so easy to find and yet so hard to extract meaningful information from.
There is a lot of information on the 'net, but none of it quite seems to match up with the system that I have in front of me and, frankly, I lack the systems and kernel hacking knowledge to correctly interpret or apply much of it.
The Beagleboard forum is active but, as a forum, it's obscure and very hard to navigate. I've had some pointers from the kernel maintainer, but I'm not even sure I know how to apply the information I've been given.

And then on top of the actual kernel-level stuff, there is the device tree to contend with.

So this is a last-ditch shot-in-the-dark punt: Does anyone have any experience with audio drivers on the Beaglebone black, compiling kernel modules on that platform, or with ALSA SoC in general?
If you can point me in the right direction or direct me towards someone who knows, I'd be delighted to hear from you!

Thanks for reading.
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